Thanks to all who joined the SNAP Coalition call this AM. And special thanks for the state updates from Brittany Mangini of DTA and the national updates from Ellen Vollinger of FRAC. We have some important information to share both P-EBT cards and a new SNAP phone application process!
P-EBT card PIN-ing data:
Below is information about the number of P-EBT cards issued to MA families whose children qualified for free or reduced-price meals, or are in the CEP (community eligibility provision) school districts. Attached is an Excel file by city and town with a breakdown of the number of P-EBT cards issued and number that have been "pinned" or activated (family got the card, used the DTA assigned case number and put a secure pin on the card). The data does NOT show the actual number of P-EBT cards used (e.g. the family went food shopping). Additionally, DTA wants to stress that this data does not account for address changes (e.g. families that were issued a card but did not get it because they moved) and so it does not give the full picture.
Finally, for those of you who missed the call, the second P-EBT benefit issuance ($199.50/child) will appear on the P-EBT cards tomorrow, Wednesday. You can help get the word out to your networks this week so that families know they have additional nutrition dollars to spend. (Remember, families who got SNAP or DTA cash benefits already got their P-EBT benefits on their regular EBT cards, so this just impacts the P-EBT card holders.)
Apply for SNAP by phone with DTA:
In addition to this P-EBT data, DTA announced today that any families who call DTA about their P-EBT benefit - but who don't get DTA benefits - can also apply for SNAP over the phone at the same time. YES, DTA now has a "telephonic signature" option to take SNAP applications by phone! This means the family does not need to submit a paper application or fill out an online SNAP application. This is HUGE! HUGE! #NoWrongDoor!
What can you do to help families activate their P-EBT cards as well as access additional benefits?
- Ask your local school district to send emails or texts to all families approved for free/reduced price meals that they can PIN their P-EBT cards any time and how to get more information through www.MAp-EBT.org And urge them to let P-EBT families know the second P-EBT benefit is being issued on the cards tomorrow, June 24th.
- For families having trouble pinning the P-EBT cards, advise them to use the special DTAConnect.com portal to get their child's "Case Number" or to call the DTA Assistance Line (press #6 after the initial message) to get their Case number.
- For families who did not get a P-EBT card because they moved or it just did not arrive, call the DTA Assistance Line (press #6 after the initial message) to speak with a DTA worker.
- For families that also want to apply for SNAP – they can apply online through DTA Connect, by phone by calling the DTA Assistance Line, through a SNAP Outreach Partner, or by downloading a paper SNAP application or through a SNAP Outreach Partner. Remember, DTA will accept a "telephonic signature" from families or individuals now wanting to apply for SNAP by phone.